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SARS-associated coronavirus; a newly described coronavirus that is genetically and antigenically distinct from other human coronaviruses. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, The SARS-CoV virus causes severe acute respiratory disease in humans. The virus is related to the viruses that cause the common cold and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
SARS-CoV was initially identified after an outbreak of severe respiratory sickness in southern China in 2002-2003. The virus rapidly spread to neighboring nations, resulting in outbreaks in Hong Kong, Vietnam, Singapore, and Canada. In 2003, the World Health Organization (WHO) designated the epidemic an international public health emergency.
It is suspected that the virus originated in bats and spread to humans via an intermediate host, such as civet cats. It is not fully understood how the virus is transmitted, although it is believed that it is mostly transferred through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
SARS-CoV infection is characterized by fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. In severe circumstances, the virus can cause deadly pneumonia. The virus typically affects the lungs, but it can also harm the liver and kidneys.
SARS-CoV infection is diagnosed based on the presence of symptoms, travel history, and known case exposure. Using PCR (polymerase chain reaction) and viral culture, the virus can be discovered in respiratory samples.
There are presently no treatment for SARS-CoV infection, which is mostly supportive. This involves oxygen therapy to assist with breathing as well as medications to prevent subsequent infections. In extreme circumstances, mechanical ventilation may be required to assist a patient's breathing.
Since the 2002-2003 outbreak of SARS-CoV, there have been no known instances of the virus, with the exception of a current outbreak in China that was first reported in December 2019 called COVID-19. However, research on SARS-CoV remains active, with the aim of creating vaccines and antiviral medications to prevent and treat infection.
Primarily, SARS-CoV infection is prevented by avoiding exposure to the virus. This involves practicing proper hand hygiene, wearing masks in regions where the virus is prevalent, and avoiding close contact with infected individuals.
SARS-CoV is a dangerous virus capable of causing severe respiratory disease called ARDS in people. Even if the risk of infection is currently low, it is essential to be aware of the virus and take preventative measures. To tackle this virus, effective vaccinations and antiviral medications must be developed.
- World Health Organization. (2020). SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). Retrieved from https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/sars/en/
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/sars/index.html
- Liu, D., & Liu, L. (2020). SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19: The most important research advances. Journal of Medical Virology, 92(7), 441-450.
- Peiris, J. S., Chu, C. M., Cheng, V. C., Chan, K. H., Hung, I. F., Poon, L. L., … & Yuen, K. Y. (2003). Clinical progression and viral load in a community outbreak of coronavirus-associated SARS pneumonia: a prospective study. Lancet, 361(9371), 1767-1772.
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